The Rights of Children

An engrossing inter-Catholic blog-debate. This is the post that started it. Money quote:

Ultimately, the tension created by the children’s rights movement is captured in a single question: Whom do we trust to care for the child? Once the state assumes the authority to speak for a child, what happens if the parents fall into a category of people-for example, drug abusers, prisoners, the mentally incompetent-who tend not to act in a way that is most supportive of a child’s future autonomy?  Under Dwyer’s prescription, these parents would bear the burden of proving their worth before the state permitted them to act as parents. It is not difficult to imagine future calls to expand the category of those presumed to be unfit parents to include individuals who would threaten their child’s autonomy by passing on misogynist or homophobic religious beliefs. When parenthood exists as a creation of the state, the boundaries of state power become difficult to discern.

The debate continues here, here, here and here. Larkin pops up, of course.